Above: CMAP Senior Female competitor of the year, Lily de La Cour from the West Cork Kickboxing Club with Soprano Elaine Canning who presented the award. Pic. John Allen
An awards ceremony in February honoured the achievements of County Cork’s martial artists, two of whom are from West Cork. Lily De La Cour of Bantry Kickboxing Club claimed the CMAP Senior Female Competitor of the year award 2014 and Lloyd Manning from Macroom, Muskerry Judo/Sambo Club took the CMAP Senior Male Competitor of the year award 2014.
Set up by Kinsale man Leonard Coughlan in 2012, the CMAP awards aim to applaud the hard work and discipline required of successful participants. Leonard runs an academy of Tae Kwon Do Schools in Bandon and Mahon. It was the hard work and dedication of kickboxing coach Ian Kingston from Drimoleague that inspired him to establish these awards three years ago. Ian has been an Irish national coach for the past seven years. “Ian had so many fighters winning titles and there was no recognition for the work he put in as a coach,” explains Leonard. “Even though it wasn’t him personally winning the awards, Ian has dedicated over 30 years of his life to martial arts and his students. One success story can inspire another and one coach can have a positive effect on many lives. He deserved the inaugral CMAP Coach of the Year Award.” There are now 12 awards given out at the CMAP ceremony each year.
Bantry’s Lily De La Cour (20), coached by Ian Kingston, holds 11 All Ireland kickboxing titles and two WAKO World and European junior titles. She started her senior career three years ago, kicking her way to victory last year winning the WAKO Best Fighter World Cup in Italy.
Kickboxing since the age of seven, Lily is extrememly disciplined, committing most of her time to the sport. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. I am very competitive person too, so it is great to achieve what I want to achieve in that respect,” she says.
Lily is aiming high for 2015. Winning the senior All Ireland championships, getting on the senior Irish team, and winning a medal at the WAKO championships at the end of the year are all part of her plan for the year ahead. “I can’t think past that for now,” she says.
“Lily trains really hard; she’s got a great attitude and is highly motivated and very dedicated to her sport. She’s a team player as well and helps out at the club. We’re looking forward to the first leg of nationals and then representing Ireland at the World championships in Dublin in November,” says coach Ian Kingston.
Macrooms’s Lloyd Manning, Muskerry Judo/Sambo Club, has entered the Battle Zone Fighting Championships cage twice, finishing his opponents on both occasions by submission and knockout. Manning is no stranger to success having won seven medals in the National Judo Championships (three gold, one silver, three bronze) and eight medals in International tournaments in this discipline (three gold, three silver, two bronze).
The CMAP award winners for 2014 were:
Sensei Brian Toomey, Fermoy Karate Club winner of the CMAP Community Spirit of the year award 2014.
Artur Dziadkowiec originally from Poland now living in Middleton, who runs the Institute of Krav Maga HQ in Togher, Cork winner of the CMAP Instructor of the year award 2014.
Lloyd Manning from Macroom, training at the Muskerry Judo/Sambo Club, winner of the CMAP Senior Male Competitor of the year award 2014.
Spartan Muay Thai Ballincollig winner of the CMAP Club of the year award 2014 accepted by Seamus Cogan and John Kelly.
Jasmin Creed, Mahon Taekwon-Do Academy winner of the CMAP Junior Female Competitor of the year 2014 (age 16).
Liam-Og Griffin, Straight Blast Gym (SBG) Cork City winner of the CMAP Ambassador of the year award 2014.
Master Don Dalton originally from Tralee, now living in Berrings, President of the Irish United Taekwon-do Federation, and winner of the CMAP Hall of Fame inductee award 2014.
Lily De La Cour of Bantry, West Cork Kickboxing Club winner of the CMAP Senior Female Competitor of the year award 2014.
Jimmy Crockett, Cork City Judo Club winner of the CMAP Life time achievement award 2014.
Ryan Sheehan, Siam Warriors Muay Thai Cork City winner of the CMAP Junior Male Competitor of the year award 2014 (age 17).
Liam Beechinor from Douglas, Brazilian Jiujitsu Cork winner of the CMAP Coach of the year award 2014.
The community spirit award went to Sensei Brian Toomey, whose wheelchair karate student Paudge Deehan describes him as “a fabulous human being with a passion for his sport.’” Brian’s dream is to see Wheelchair Karate make it as a paralympic sport.
“The problem is often ‘Ego’ gets in the way, but the real sport, the art, is to better yourself as a person.” These wise words of Master Don Dalton seemed to be evident in all of the recipients on the night.